On Thursday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library, the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition will present a program on the shortnose sturgeon of the Gulf of Maine and the Passagassawakeag River by Gayle Zydlewski.

Until recently, it was believed that shortnose sturgeon remained within the river system where they were hatched. Based on this assumption, those captured and tagged in the Penobscot would stay in the Penobscot.

Recent results have required researchers and managers to reconsider the current river-by-river management of this endangered species. Conservation of this species will be dependent on a better understanding of regional and local dynamics.

Zydlewski will explain the novel techniques used to estimate the abundance of these fish now. The presentation will also highlight the influence dam removals may have on specific management strategies for shortnose sturgeon in the Gulf of Maine.

Gayle Zydlewski is a research assistant professor in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine at Orono. She is currently using remote sensing technology to document movement and migration patterns as they relate to changing environmental conditions, e.g., removal of dams or introduction of tidal power devices.

She received her Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Maine and her Masters of Science in zoology from the University of Rhode Island. She currently resides in Hampden with her husband and 11-year-old son.

The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition is a group of individuals working to support conservation and stewardship of natural, scenic, historic and public access resources in the watershed through research, community-building and education.